It is a peculiar word — “chance”. It is a word defined by the fortuitous occurrence of an event, often involving luck, accident, and random pairing. “Success”, on the other hand, is rarely by chance.
People don’t win sports events by chance; one does not come upon a million dollars by accident. Yes, perhaps meeting one’s spouse occurred by a “chance” meeting, and maybe a given event was “fortuitous” in that the circumstances will never again be replicated and thus one can deem it as an “accidental” occurrence; but in the end, few successes in life rarely occur as a matter of chance.
Yet, despite their inapposite meanings, we quite readily combine them into a commonplace query, do we not? As in: What are the chances of success? “Chance”, as stated, is most often used in terms of random luck. “Success”, on the other hand, is through diligent preparation, hard work, focused intent.
But in the form of the question, What are the chances of success? — we are really inquiring as to the percentage probability of an outcome, like the gambler who sizes up the various card tables at a casino before settling for one which seems to afford a higher probability of winning.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are similarly “sizing up” the chances at a successful filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, it is often akin to the “dealer’s advantage”: the odds are always better if you have the advice, guidance and counsel of an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire